Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Reverse sweep roll

I enjoy rolling. I like the feeling when you are underwater, I enjoy wearing the goggles and scuba-kayak and being a proficient roller also gives me confidence when out by myself.
Peace under water
I managed a point where my base “combat” sweep roll was under control on both sides. But the problem of the sweep roll is that you are never in the set up position when you go down. The first few seconds under water are spent on moving the body to the set up. It also finishes with your body in a sort of laying back position which is not the best to keep paddling or face the next breaking wave.

Going up or going down?
I then found out about Greenland rolling and I wanted to incorporate some rolling techniques that would improve on what I see as the problems of my sweep roll. I first worked on the “storm” roll. This roll finishes with your body “laying” forward, a better position to duck into an incoming dumping wave. I still have to refine my technique and drill it into my automatic roll but it is coming along.

Finishing forward.

Then there is the back sweep roll. I had been trying to get my head around this one for months with no much success. Some weeks ago, during a demo day, I borrowed a Greenland T from Expeditions Kayaks. The Greenland T is a kayak easier to roll than most. I dressed for the cold of that day and got my head under water. After being disoriented for a while I finally started to grasp the movement I needed to perform. At the end I had managed a few back sweeps on my good side and was very happy.
A few days later I took my kayak and went to “my beach” for a paddle. “my beach” is in a little bay protected by a rocky reef at the entrance where most waves spend their force. However when I got there I found it was windier than I expected and the waves were coming with a lot of force, enough to keep the inside of the bay with reflected, intersecting and breaking waves where it usually is flat. I was trashed really bad on the reef last year trying to get out and since then I treat those long period waves with a lot of respect. I tested the waters but the inside of the bay was fun enough for that day for what I wanted: try the back sweep in my own kayak.
"my beach" in bad mood.
Thanks to a friend of mine who lent me his camera Sony TX10 to test I was able to record part of that session. If you ask me the Sony is a nice small camera but not really tough and the touch screen was very painful to use for me while on the water... but nice image quality and no fog in the lens. You can see my back weeps and some wave-rides in the video below:

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